Fosamax is an oral biphosphonate prescribed to millions of osteoporosis sufferers over the years. It is supposed to increase bone density by slowing down the body’s process of bone breakdown over time.
However, researchers have now found that this drug can actually cause bones to weaken and crumble.
Worse yet, Merck, the manufacturer of this drug, pushed hard for this medication to be prescribed to as large a population as possible. Osteopenia, a milder predecessor of osteoporosis, formerly went mostly without treatment. There is little evidence that this less severe condition requires formal management. But once Fosamax was introduced to the market, doctors were pressured to prescribe it for osteopenia as well.
Over time it was noted that a select group of jaw surgery patients were having severe issues with healing. Further investigation revealed one common thread: All of these patients had been treated with at least one of a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. About 10% were osteoporosis patients who had taken an oral bisphosphonate, mainly Fosamax.
Osteonecrosis, bone death of the jaw (ONJ) is a risk of all bisphosphonates. These drugs remain in bone indefinitely. It is speculated that long-term use can upset the delicate balance between cells that put calcium in bone and cells that take calcium away. An FDA review concluded that all bisphosphonate labels should mention osteonecrosis.
While the manufacturers of Fosamax did add a warning, once pressured to do so, many patients suffered severe issues before that time. It is possible for the company to face legal repercussions for their having not been forthcoming with this vital information.
If you or a loved one has been prescribed Fosamax and experienced serious side effects, contact us today to determine if you may have a personal injury claim.